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The Reality of Divorce Realtors

divorce realtorThe world of divorce has seen many changes. Firstly, the word divorce does not raise eyebrows in the general public anymore. Secondly, the law is (slowly) changing to create balanced, fair rulings. And thirdly, divorce has become a kind of specialty group, a niche. There are shows dedicated to divorce (some reality, some dramatic, comedic, and more); major news sources have whole sections dedicated to divorce; divorce party planning has become a viable business venture; and now, divorce realty is thing.

Divorce realty is a specialty of a few, and a mystery to most. The New York Times recently uncovered this new sector of realty, and we are very excited and intrigued. Vicki Stout and Bob Bailey-Lemansky are real estate agents for Keller Williams Suburban Realty of New Jersey who are proclaimed divorce specialists. Other local real estate divorce specialists, like Frances Katzen, Michael Shapot, Elayne Reimer, and Victoria Vinokur, also shared their experiences.

What could a real estate agent possibly specialize in divorce, you might ask? Well, they specialize in selling the homes of divorcees, of course.

Separate, but Still Equal

Divorce realty is more than calling both homeowners about scheduling viewings. Stout and Bailey-Lemansky are the first real estate divorce specialists in New Jersey, and so far that includes being well-versed about how divorce affects property ownership, the divorce process, and how to handle clients who might have, say, restraining orders in place.

In this light, a divorce realtor is much more complex than the simple job of realtor; divorce realtors have to prepare for different scenarios, play therapist and legal counselor, and find a way to make two magnets meet in the middle to agree.

No Passion, No Dice

In a job where you are literally stuck in the middle of a divorce all the time requires one thing: passion. Without a passion for being the no-win middle man, you cannot do your job and do it well. But Stout, Bailey-Lemansky, and the other divorce realtors are thriving, thanks to a few hard-learned tricks for their divorce realtor tool belt.

Divorce Realty Trick #1: Keep the divorce hush hush. Keeping the divorce on the down low is not out of shame or fear of offending buyers, it is out of respect for the sellers. The divorce realtors have noticed prospective buyers operating under the assumption that divorcing sellers are desperate to make a sale. The result: buyers lowball sellers, and no one is happy.

Divorce Realty Trick #2: Fill the void. When a couple is going through a divorce, their house probably reflects that. One side of the closet is probably empty, there are probably a few bare nails on the walls, and missing appliances or furnishings. Luckily, divorce realtors expect and prepare for these things. Divorce realtor Michael Shapot, for example, borrows used clothing from friends and family members to make sure a client’s house doesn’t betray the white elephant in the room (or house).

Divorce Realty Trick #3: Make the best of it with the clients. A divorce realtor is composed, prepared, and ready for clients who are going through a traumatic time. As such, divorce realtors are more than willing to work with clients who need maybe a little extra time and patience. Reimer, one realtor from the NY Times article, recounted divorcing clients who divided their living quarters so strictly that when showing the house, Reimer had to show the husband’s half of the house and then reschedule to show the wife’s half. The only advice divorce realtor’s have is to have patience with the divorcees.

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